Wednesday, July 31, 2013

M&M Wednesday 2

Hello all!

Here it is, another Wednesday and another delve into my Monsters and Magic setting of Espeth.  Todays post concerns another of the many gods of the land Astrael, the son of Aberone.

One of the things I have been considering when working on my deities is how they are perceived by the different races as well as how many of these I should do.  In truth I have at least two gods detailed for each of the basic OSR alignments although these are seen from a more human perspective.  The thing I am wondering is would there be entirely different gods for each of the many species of my setting or would they all just be aspects of the same set of deities?

One of the reasons I wonder this is due to the fact that the gods were not always part of the fabric of Espeth.  Espeth itself is an island-continent on the massive planet of Andorell and, for millennia, was unknown to the gods.  It was only through the actions of the elves that the gods ever learned of the land and the many troubles that inhabit it.

It is an interesting question to be sure and one that I will be working on in the coming few posts.  My plan for the next M&M post, which I will put up this coming Monday, will be concerning the discovery of Espeth and some of the important actions that have had a direct impact on both the deities there as well as the mortal races that call it home.

Thanks and keep on Gaming!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Super Tuesdays 2

Hey everyone.  Long time no post I know...

On the heels of my just blogged post about one of my G-Core characters I felt the desire to expand on some of my thoughts concerning super-hero gaming and the genre in general.  As you all well know I have a decades old love for comic books.  I have read and forgotten more comic book story lines then I can ever hope to remember, but that's the point of it isn't it?  I think it is a good thing to occasionally forget story-lines so when they run a similar one you aren't totally turned off.

And that is the trick isn't it?  Being new while still holding to the traditions of what came before.  That is one of the ideas that is directly influencing my current goal for Rally Cry.  Since it's beginning RC has been a 'typical' setting.  It is one with all the common super-hero tropes although it had a darker 'Iron Age' feel to it.  What I am working on now is something different than what I have done in the past.

Instead of a world populated by costume-clad do-gooders and bad guys I want to do a post-apocalyptic world where the alien invaders have smashed the planet and now humanity is on the ropes.  Now I realize this isn't a totally new idea.  I am hoping though that by inserting a super-human element I can create something fun.  Does all of this mean that I am done with my normal world of RC?  Nah, as I mentioned once before it is too much of an addiction to me, but hopefully I can channel this into something different than I have been doing.

My plan is still to release the characters in multiple formats including G-Core and Invulnerable, although the latter will be a bit later as I have decided to wait till the Vigilante Edition is released.  I have however decided (with the assistance of a good friend) to stop working on my own system.  I simply do not have the right mind set to work all of my grand ideas into a workable set of mechanics.

That being said I plan to use my formidable powers (hah!) for bigger and better settings and characters!

Thanks for reading and keep on Gaming!

Super Tuesdays

As part of the weekly writing schedule that I previously mentioned I have made Tuesdays a day for working on my super-hero/comic book world.  I have more ideas for the Rally Cry universe than possibly any other of my settings and as such I will slowly be releasing these ideas for use by well... anyone who wants too.

Today I bring to you another character from my G-Core campaign.  Star-Nova is one of the few heroes I plan to detail (since I feel the bad-guys are more fun to do).  She first appeared in my Allies and Adversaries release for G-Core made a few years ago.


Monday, July 29, 2013

M&M Monday

Hey all!

I have been doing a lot of thinking and writing over the last few days.  The type of writing I have been working on has varied greatly from a super short project for G-Core which should be done by Friday, too more complex ideas such as my over-reaching custom setting I have been writing.  It has been a confusing mélange of thoughts to be sure.

In the middle of all that I took some time to do a bit of work for Monsters and Magic.  I have decided, at least for now, to supplement my M&M Wednesday with a M&M Monday! (/cue dance music).  For the time being the Wednesday posts will detail the overall deities of Espeth (and soon the gods specialty priests) while Mondays will contain information about different factions across the continent.

I am pleased at the amount of support I am getting for this project and have been considering working a second project into the M&M family.  But that is down the road still a bit, we will just have to see.

The attached file are the notes for The Order of the Cog and Fist.  A group dedicated to preserving ancient knowledge and relics from across Espeth.

As always thanks for taking the time to peruse this, and keep on Gaming!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

M&M Wednesday

Hey everyone!

In my quest to be a better writer I have started writing and drawing in a specific schedule and part of that is working on my Monsters and Magic setting each week on this day.

The pantheon of Espeth is large, consisting of gods worshipped by all of the sentient species of the land.  Each god is seen in a variety of forms by the different species but one, Aberone, is viewed the same way by all.  Aberone was the first of the gods to discover life already existing on Espeth and was the first to bring religion, law, and justice to the people.

The attached file contains the write-up for Aberone and notes on his worshipers.  As the setting progresses all of the deities of Espeth will be expanded upon.  I hope you enjoy this and the following write-ups of each of the gods.

Thanks, and keep on Gaming!

Friday, July 19, 2013


Last night I had the opportunity to chat with a good friend about writing and inspiration.  For those of you that have been reading this blog you will understand that I have issues remaining on a certain project.  He encouraged me, in his own way, to try something new.  To pick a single character or place and just write about that instead of writing an entire setting at's a new idea for me to be sure.

I decided to listen to his advice and have been working diligently on this since then.  The attached file is my idea of a city that is a part of my rather large fantasy setting.  Although there are no specific NPC's or stats of any kind in the document I think it is still a great starting point for a campaign or even a nifty place to visit,  I know that after my discussion with my friend that I will be concentrating on Stadtler for the time being, making it as detailed as I can before moving on.

This is going to be the starting place of my Monsters and Magic campaign and plan to update this as much as possible as I work on it.

As always, enjoy and keep on Gaming!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Character Profile: Alpha

Today I spent much of the day trying to decide what I wanted too do.  This isn't really anything new for me, but after a while I finally settled on working on reworking a old character of mine for G-Core. 

He was originally presented in my first G-Core product, Allies and Adversaries but he has since gone through much and even received a new picture.  Granted I need to finish adding color to it, but that is already a work in process.

Alpha got a bit of a re-do as I am extending my overall timeline.  His adventures that began in the 60's are still going even in 2050, which is the time that the campaign takes place.  He is one of the most powerful extraordinaries active today and stands as a beacon of order in a world going to crap.

I will have a more extensive blog post soon as well as more character profiles.

Monday, July 15, 2013

What is Rally Cry 2

As I mentioned in a previous post Rally Cry is an over-reaching, over-extended setting that I have been tinkering with for years.  There have been countless iterations of it and some have seen the light of day while others are still buried away like ancient relics.  Two larger portions of the setting, the Ruins of New York City, and an overall view of the world have been placed on this blog for anyone to see.

That being said there is so much more I want to do for the setting.  I am currently working on a massive timeline for the world that begins before creation and ends in 2050.  Included in that timeline are ideas for alternate dimensions and other planets ripe for working on.  One of the alternate timelines has already seen print, well in PDF form, as Welcome to Bifrost.  WtB details the what happens after a massive alien invasion and the subsequent spread of humanity into the stars.

As I work more on the RC timeline I find more things I want to do.  I have already been plotting out something of a sub-set of WtB in the form of a setting taking place on Earth and what happens to those that couldn't escape the alien invasion.  It is a fun one to work on, and lets me get out some ideas, but I still keep coming back to the overall Rally Cry setting.

I said before that RC was my baby, but perhaps it is more.  Despite my constant forays into other genres I keep coming back to it.  Now don't get me wrong.  I enjoy other games, especially Fantasy, but it is Supers that I enjoy most....even if it annoys the living hell out of me at times!

Some of the things I would like to do for RC are...
Finish the master timeline

Finish the write-up for Lincoln Station, a mega-city on Earth that is the most important city in the nation at this time

Do a book of just NPC's of all kinds...everything from mundane people, to super-powered individuals, to alien species.

Detail out different portions of the timeline to use as alternate dimensions or timelines.

Like I said... a lot of work to be sure.

Right now my tentative plan is to release this in a dual system format.  This means that I would be doing up the stats and such for two games, G-Core and Invulnerable.  Both are excellent games and although they have dramatically different mechanics both are close to my ideas of supers-gaming.

Of course I am more than interested in hearing anyone else's ideas or input they may have.  I am always willing to talk about this kind of thing!

As always thanks for reading and keep gaming!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Invulnerable Rpg Review

I guess I am in a Review mood today... That is ok though as I have been meaning to put up some more thoughts about this game.  I mentioned this game before in another blog post and right now it is the main system in my addled little mind for my next Supers Setting.

Invulnerable is written by Joshua Kubli and actually consists of two books.  The first, Invulnerable, is the core rules and easily contains everything you need to play a super-heroic campaign.  The second book, Dauntless, is an expansion that does just that.  It adds new types of character origins, powers, and new ways to create characters faster.

Now, while it is a somewhat crunchy game, especially compared to things like Icons, Supers, or BASH, it is well written and allows for a wide range of characters.  It is difficult for two Players to create the exact same character unless they specifically try.  There are so many choices available that you can pretty much make anything you can imagine.

The game is partially based on what is called the Awesomeness (Awe) Level.  The Awe level allows the Game Master to set the power-level of all the characters while still giving the Player a great amount of flexibility in making their hero.  It is possible to create characters from simple street-level vigilantes all the way up to star-faring individuals who regularly save the universe.

There is, of course, more to the game than just the powers.  The system also puts an emphasis on the characters origin and allows the Player to craft that as well.  This perhaps is the best feature of the character-creation as it allows for characters with a background, a bit of history, before play starts.  It also has a comprehensive list of skills to finish off your character.

Unlike many core-rules Invulnerable also includes several NPC's that can be used as allies or antagonists for the game.  These pre-generated NPC's are statted up as any other character and can be used for those who dont't want to go through the entire creation process.

All and all I give this game a 4.5 of 5.  The only thing I would like to see is more examples throughout the book, although Joshua has also created a couple of free PDF's that assist with the game and creation process.

Thanks all and happy gaming!

MADS Rpg Review

Hey all!

I have been going through my rather large file of PDF's and decided it was time to do a review of a lesser-known game that I enjoy.

MADS, which stands for Mental-Attack-Defense-Skill is, at its base, a system designed to allow players to use characters from different games/genres to play together in a single system.  It is a simple set of mechanics that does its prescribed job well-enough although I prefer its original character-generation rules and system to converting characters over.

Created by Al Seeger of Point of Insanity Games, MADS has a series of 'expansions' designed more around expanding the original rules than in converting more characters over, although that remains a key feature to the game.  Everything from modern day martial-arts action to fantasy to super-hero ideas are presented in the various add-ons.

Al has also created a some system agnostic systems that have separate, but free, write ups for MADS.  My favorite of the original settings is the post-modern/apocalyptic setting called Afterpeak.  It is a setting that describes a world after a series of catastrophes and events that shape a desolate and dangerous world.  In addition to a good amount of setting information it also contains a new way of using magic in the setting as well as a bestiary of creatures unique to the setting.

I am looking forward to more products in this line and would be lying if I didn't say I have been inspired by more than one of the ideas presented in the system.  While not every idea presented is totally new there are enough twists to keep things interesting and make it an enjoyable read.

As always, thanks for taking the time to read this!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Nexus (sci-fi setting)

A couple of months ago I released my second 3rd party book for the G-Core system.  It is basically a primer for a greater setting set in deep space.  Humanity has been forced into the stars and have built a new life for themselves along with many other species.

The file that I am attaching to this is the notes for the overall setting beyond what was presented in the 'Welcome to Bifrost' PDF.  It details the city of Nexus which is the center of human-controlled space.

I had a lot of fun working on this and, as with all my projects, to release it free for anyone to use as they see fit.  I think it has lots of room for adventures of all kinds and can be the basis of an entire campaign, regardless of the system being used.

As always, if you have any thoughts or ideas please feel free to let me know!

Thanks and Enjoy

Monsters and Magic Expansion 2 (Classes)

Hey everyone!

As I mentioned in my last post I am continuing to work on my M&M setting and in doing so have created a handful of new Classes/Sub-Classes.  Please keep in mind I haven't been able to do extensive testing on these yet but as I do so they will be updated. 

Thanks and Enjoy!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monsters and Magic Expansion 1 (Races)

Hey all,

As I mentioned in a previous post I am a big fan of the newly released OSR-ish game Monsters and Magic.  After reading the rules I was immediately grasped by the idea to convert the fantasy setting I have been working on into that format.  So far it has been a great experience and a lot of fun.  The nice thing is that these races can be used for any sort of Old-School game as well as M&M.

I hope you all enjoy my meager offering and there will be much more to come.  (yeah, I know I have a lot of projects going)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Hunt for a System 2

Today hasn't been a stellar day for me creatively.  I would like to say that I got a lot of writing done and a some artwork to go with it, but well, I can't.  I did manage to get a bit of work done, but not enough to pat myself on the back about.  Mainly I spent today searching for a system for my supers project.  I have a few ideas in mind at the moment.

G-Core: My go-to simple supers system.  It is easy to create characters, powers, and so on for this game.  The only downside I have for this is that I do like more crunch sometimes.  Now, I know I could come up with a way to add more detail and so on to it, but would doing so change the game to dramatically from what it is?  I know that when I was doing a Fantasy hack for it I didn't like where it was going at all so that project died young...  Basically I changed so much from its base that it no longer resembled anything G-Core other than the basic dice mechanic.

Invulnerable: I just came into this game and think it is very good.  It is, without a doubt, more crunchy than G-Core and has a ton of options available in just the Core Book and more if you purchase the expansion.  My hesitation there is the learning curve involved.  This isn't so much for me but rather for my friend that I do all my playtesting/gaming with.  He is still a relative novice when it comes to gaming and can get confused especially with rules intensive systems.  That being said this game has some great aspects to it, and I really like its detailed character generation but wonder if the system itself would run as smooth...

Homebrew: I have a system that I have been working on for quite the while.  It was originally my attempt at creating a meta-system that would allow for any genre.  I know now that the ideas I have for it aren't exactly convertible from on to another.  This one I have gotten some chance to run with my friend and it has been a lot of fun so far although there are still issues coming up.  Of course that is to be expected with any system, even from the BIG companies.

Conversion: The final idea, and thus far the most unlikely, is to simply take an existing system and convert it to what I need.  I don't know which one for sure, although the new OSR-ish game Monsters and Magic is a leader.  I don't really know about this one though... this could turn out like my G-Core hack and get so far out of hand that it no longer resembles the original.  That would suck.

So all in all you can see why I didn't get much done today.  It is a question that has plagued me since my earliest days writing RPG's and will undoubtedly continue to do so for some time to come.  I know I could take an easier road out and go with something well established like Mutants and Masterminds, Icons, or even something like Bulletproof Blues, but none of them really fit me and so they don't fit my writing style...

Quite the conundrum really

Oh, and if any of you have some thoughts please, feel free to let me know :)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

What is Rally Cry?

The topic of this post kind of says it all.  To me Rally Cry has been both a burden and a baby for many years now.  As my friends know I have been working on this project, in various forms, for the last several years.  I have started, stopped, deleted and written more ideas about this world then I can even fathom.

In it's earliest days RC was just a copy of any other comic-book world.  Brightly clad heroes fighting gaudy villains all across the world.  As time passed the world got darker.  It changed partially from my love of Iron Age comics but also from my own moods.  I am not always the cheeriest person and that is usually reflected in my writing.

Several times over the last few years I have had the fortune to work with my friend Nathan.  He and I have collaborated on several different projects ranging from simple game systems through detailed settings.  Unfortunately we have never had much luck getting our ideas finished.  We always get caught up in a variety of different 'what-ifs' that stall, and eventually stop our progress.

Rally Cry was born from a combination of my ideas and input from Nate.  In the early days it was an attempt to be 'different' while still keeping the same flavor of a comic-book world.  I have come to realize now that the idea of a brightly colored comic book just isn't for me anymore.  At its conception RC was about the world under attack by an alien armada.  Over the years I have moved the timeline back, back to several years before the war would take place.  It has moved back so far that I can barely see it at times.

I hope to change that.  I have wanted to work this line of thought, this setting, out of my head for what seems like forever now.  I have decided to mold some of what I have currently into the new history of Rally Cry and move time forward once more to a time just after the attacks begin.  I know that such an idea may not be entirely original...a post apocalyptic super-hero setting, but I think I can make something good out of it.

I say it RC is my baby, but it is more of a mild addiction...something that I keep coming back to whenever my defenses are down.  By defenses I of course mean whenever I have a writing block or am feeling frustrated with other projects.  So bear with me if my next few posts seem chaotic or random, but that will be me hammering out ideas here so others can see them and hopefully give me some input as to what they see.

Thanks as always!

Friday, July 5, 2013

New Powers for G-Core

It's no secret that I enjoy playing and writing for super-hero games.  For the last couple of years this has consisted mostly of either my own systems or for the G-Core game.  I totally enjoy it for its simplicity and flexibility.  There are many powers in the G-Core Deluxe manual but I have come up with several more, totally optional, powers for my games.

The attached link contains the new powers that I created for my Rally Cry setting.  As always some powers are more potent than others, but I have had fun with all of them...hopefully you will as well.

Thanks and Enjoy!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Ruins of New York

When I was first coming up with ideas for my own supers setting many many years ago I decided that I wanted to radically shake up the nature of the country.  Over the years this idea grew and eventually became what it is in the RC Universe now.  Basically not one, but two cities were destroyed in a massive battle with a hitherto unknown enemy.

In the end two American cities, New York and Washington DC, were left in ruins.  The attached file contains the write up of what is left of NYC.  I am happy with many parts of it, but as I re-write the Rally Cry Universe much of it is going to be expanded upon and changed a bit.

And also, while the NPC's were originally created for G-Core they will soon be re-done into another system for further fun

As always Thanks and Enjoy!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Monsters and Magic Review

In this post I am going to give a quick review of the new OSR game called Monsters and Magic.  Now I know what you're thinking... "But Chris, this has nothing to do with supers!"  Well, keep in mind I like more than one genre and have always been a fan of fantasy games as well.

To begin with, although I am a fan of the Old School games, I haven't really jumped on the bandwagon so-to-speak.  The first fantasy game I ever ran used the Rolemaster system and while its indeed 'old' it doesn't fit the same mold as OD&D and AD&D.  So imagine my surprise when I came upon the Monsters and Magic G+ group.  From everything I read it would be the game to renew my love of fantasy.  Eventually (read yesterday) I broke down and purchased the PDF.

The games tagline is 'Old School Fantasy, New School Play'.  The game does a great job of following that idea and more.  While it goes a long way in the tradition of the original games with things like multiple Player Races, Classes, and Levels it adds its own spin on things by tweaking the old standards.

Gone are the days of set-in-stone abilities that allow the character to do XX, instead the character has Traits which allow for greater possibilities.  Simply put a Trait is a few words that describe something the character can do such as Feats of Strength or knowing a grand variety of religious ceremonies.  I understand that the Trait idea isn't brand-spanking-new, but its pretty new to me.

The area where the game shines is in its use of Effects and Consequences.  This means that the better you roll (or worse as the case may be) the more outstanding your results.  This could mean extra damage, knocking back a foe out of range, or stunning an opponent through a witty rejoinder.  These ideas are expanded to include all sorts of personal interactions in addition to the more typical combat oriented ones.  the neatest part is that while the player gets to describe their lucky breaks and their opponets problems, the GM does the same for the NPC's.  This can cause all sorts of fun and interesting events in the game.

I am hoping to begin play with this system tomorrow of Skype with a friend.  Yes, it will be just he and I, but if it can work for a duo there is no reason it can't work for a full group!

All in all I give this game a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait to see what they come up with next!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Hunt for a System

As I previously mentioned I have been working on creating my own RPG system for as long as I have been playing.  These creations, both solo and with someone, have met with varying levels of success and although many are quite good none have gone all the way to completion.  The problem isn't a lack of desire or ideas, rather it is the fact that I get frustrated from the sheer volume of ideas I want to include.

I have a system at the moment that I am fairly happy with.  It is working in limited playtesting and while it has bugs they are ones that I believe I can work out.  The question that is constantly cropping up is if creating an entire system of my own is really worth it?  There are many...many systems out there both free and OGL that I could easily use and I really like many of them.  It almost seems like I am forcing myself to do everything in some sort of effort to make my mark on the genre.

Silly I know, but that's just how I am.  I am currently thinking that although I have been attempting to craft my homebrew system for three separate genre/setting I should instead just pick an existing game for two of them and save the final one for my system.  I am very much leaning toward a new OSR game called Monsters & Magic for my primary fantasy setting and G-Core for my supers/horror.  While I love G-Core I think I want something with a bit more crunch for my new Rally Cry setting.

I have been having this internal debate for years now and am slowly working working through it finally.  It is really only a matter of time before my system is done and that setting is complete... sadly I have so many different ideas and so little patience for putting them all down on paper.  I am currently 'working' here and there on a fantasy setting, a supers setting, a supers/horror setting, and a setting that is a melange of  fantasy and steampunk.  Is that a lot of things?  Hell yes it is... but I seem to work better when multiple ideas are bouncing around than trying to force myself into one line of thought.

Of course that is also why I never finish anything...

Monday, July 1, 2013

Random Hellborn Notes

For the past couple of years I have had this idea in my head.  It is a combination supers and horror setting inspired by games such as Kult, Beyond the Supernatural, and Nightspawn, and In Nomine.  The idea is that there really are monsters out there hunting humanity and there are a handful of people who seek to stop it.

I know, I know, it's not terribly original and honestly I don't really mind.  As is the case with all of these writing exercises the point is to get the ideas out as opposed to making earth-shattering advances in the genre.  Sure, it would be nice to make some kind of unique breakthrough, but is it possible to create something truly new anymore?

As I was saying, the basics of the setting are presented in short-blurb fashion in the attached file.  I don't know yet what 'system' if any I am creating this for.  I have some thoughts about using the simple G-Core form (kind of a no-brainer for me) but I have considered using my home-brew system I am writing as well.  Right now the plan is to just expand on the current ideas and see what happens from there.

Thanks and Enjoy!